For many of us, Halloween has a special place in our hearts. Walking through colorful leaves, dressing up to your heart’s content, and gorging on candy – it’s a reminder of childhood, tradition, and spooktacular joy! Even though some of the more traditional ways of celebrating Halloween might be off the table due to COVID-19, we found plenty of unique and imaginative ways to safely get into the spooky spirit this year. With trick-or-treating alternatives such as having a scavenger hunt in your backyard, hosting a scary movie marathon, making spooky-themed crafts, photo books and so much more, you can make this year memorable with these creative Halloween at-home ideas. Read ahead for fun ways to celebrate Halloween during coronavirus and you might just find that these become new favorite family traditions.
- Fun Alternatives To Trick-Or-Treating
- DIY Halloween Crafts
- Halloween Decorating Ideas
- Best Halloween Activities For Adults
- Virtual Halloween Party Ideas
Fun Alternatives To Trick-Or-Treating
There’s no need to sit out the Halloween 2020 season even if your plans call for staying at home to celebrate. Instead of spending the night going door to door asking for candy, you have the opportunity to celebrate creatively. From DIY fall crafts that pay homage to the season to delicious Halloween-themed treats, there are still tons of ways to make the spooky holiday special for your kids in a socially distanced world. Browse through some of our favorite alternatives to trick-or-treating that are wicked for kids and adults alike.
Trick-Or-Treating At Home
Trick-or-treating at home is a great option this year that promotes safety and allows parents to add their own personal touches. Set up several trick-or-treat locations for each room or doorway of your home in a different theme and coordinate fun games or activities that involve winning Halloween candy and prizes. Instead of going door-to-door in the neighborhood, kids go door-to-door in your house! In the kitchen, you can create a mad chef theme where kids can decorate a monster cookie or even mix some potion beverages. Living rooms can be set up with smoke machines, spooky music, and spiderwebs throughout the room to create a silly haunted house feeling.
Halloween Scavenger Hunt
An epic and spooky scavenger hunt is fun for kids of all ages. And since trick-or-treating is out of the question, you can still keep their enthusiasm for candy up by holding a candy scavenger hunt instead. Hide candy around the house or backyard with clues about different locations and watch as they collect the hidden candy or prizes in their trick-or-treat bags. You can even try a glow-in-the-dark egg hunt!
Drive-Through Halloween Activities
Do something special while keeping your family safely inside the car. Check local listings for contactless, drive-through haunted houses, drive-in movie theaters playing Halloween movies, or “haunted roads” – neighborhoods lit up and decorated to the nines.
Candy Taste Test
Start your holiday on an extra-sweet note and put all of this season’s candies to the test. Organizing a Halloween candy taste test for your friends and family is a fun way to determine which spooky treat will come out on top. With all sorts of new contenders, such as green Kit Kats and glow-in-the-dark Hershey’s chocolate, you’ll have to set aside your old favorites to decide which one is truly the best.
Halloween Movie Marathon
Cuddle up on the couch with snacks and personalized fleece blankets, and queue up some of your family’s favorite spooky — or not-so-spooky — Halloween movies. Prepare a line-up of your kids’ favorite scary movies, and create a weekend schedule for the whole of October. Turn up the scare factor and play some all-time family favorites. You can also check your local listings to see if anywhere near you is hosting a drive-in Halloween movie event. If so, cozy up the car, dress up in matching Halloween pajamas, and bring your own themed snacks.
Ghosting has become a popular tradition over the years, and it’s a great way to show people you’re thinking of them even if you can’t hang out in person. Here’s how it works: You make a bag of Halloween-themed goodies and leave it on a friend’s or neighbor’s doorstep with a note that encourages them to “ghost” someone else.
Host A Drive-By Or Sidewalk Costume Parade
Organize a costume parade with your neighbors or close friends — one that doesn’t involve congregating or touching. Dress the kids up and hop in the car, following a predetermined map of houses of neighbors or friends, so that everyone can see each other’s costumes. Or, if you have a smaller group, you could have all of the kids mask up and stand in a line down the sidewalk or along a big yard, then one family at a time can walk around from a distance, looking at everyone’s costumes.
Send Halloween Cards
Halloween typically isn’t a greeting card holiday, but then again, nothing about the holidays this year has been typical. Since the kids won’t be able to go out and see their friends while trick-or-treating, have them design some custom Halloween cards and then mail them off to friends and family. You can even attach a piece of candy to each card!
Halloween BINGO Walk
Get the kids together for a Halloween BINGO walk (or drive) around the neighborhood, looking at Halloween decorations. The first person to find five items in a row, wins! Completed rows can be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. It’s super easy, so fun – and gets the kids off their phones.
Halloween-Themed Trivia Night
Older kids love playing games, so why not create a trivia game that is all about Halloween. Ask questions like, What are the lyrics to “Monster Mash” or what are the names of five chocolate candies? You can also make up custom playing cards that are all related to Halloween and have kids use their candy pieces as game board markers.
Candy ‘Mail’ Chains
Another way to still enjoy treats from neighbors and friends is to do a mail exchange (if it’s safe and approved by everyone involved). Just mail personalized gifts or treats to another family and then have them share something back or send something to another family on the list.
Extend your celebration the entire month of October with a countdown calendar (similar to an advent calendar). Make each day a surprise – stream a favorite Halloween movie, enjoy a small treat, decorate the door to your apartment or house, deliver treats to a neighbor, eat dinner in your Halloween costumes, etc. The ideas are endless.
DIY Halloween Crafts
Baking, crafting, and decorating gets everyone in the mood for the holiday. Print out some Halloween coloring pages, read below for some seasonal crafts to enjoy, and then use those crafts as decorations for the house.
No matter what look you decide on this Halloween, one thing is for sure: DIY costumes are the way to go. Making a costume yourself is the best way to make sure that your look is original, exactly what you want it to be, and doesn’t cost you a ton of money. Plus, making your own is much easier (and more fun) than you might think.
Who says Halloween is all about the candy? This is the perfect time to get creative with your baking. Baking is always a good idea but baking Halloween cookies in the fall is something special. It’s a fun activity to decide on what kind of cookies to bake and then decorating them all kinds of Halloween creatures and themes. Decorate some spooky cookies or build a (haunted) gingerbread house. You’ll have both an activity and a yummy dessert.
Pumpkin Decorating Contest
Get out the paints, carving supplies, decorating kits, and — if you’re feeling daring — the glitter. Spend some time decorating pumpkins with your kids and host an anonymous vote afterwards for the best pumpkin – winner gets a prize! You can even take the creativity up a notch and give the pumpkin a cloth face mask. Too much competition? Forget the vote and take fun photos of each family member with their pumpkin instead.
Halloween Decorating Ideas
Channel your Christmas decorating spirit and celebrate Halloween with pumpkins and lights and other spooky sights. Decorating the house for holidays is an important part of celebrating that holiday, and there is no better way to get in the spooky mood than going all out. Build anticipation for the big day by making your Halloween décor a showstopper. Make it as whimsical or scary as needed!
Create A Halloween Gallery Wall
Have fun going through old photos of your child and other family members in costume over the years. Turn your favorites into custom wall art with descriptions – the year, age, and costume inspiration, for example – and have your child draw or paint original Halloween-themed artwork to add to the collection.
Spookify Your Porch
Decorate your porch with hay bales, stacked pumpkins, or something spooky. Corn stalks, a fun wreath on the door, and a new welcome mat also adds a nice personal touch. Kids love to be involved in creating their fun Halloween porch too and it doubles as an activity so a total win there.
Decorate Every Room
Think beyond traditional Halloween decor by styling every room with an eye-popping mix of brightly colored pumpkins, fresh blooms, and fun accessories. Create some pumpkin garland and Halloween personalized banners that you can hang. You can also create some cartoon ghost stickers cutouts, too!
Best Halloween Activities For Adults
We’re here to help you reclaim the excitement from your younger years with some fun Halloween activities for adults. No matter if you’re throwing a massive virtual Halloween party with friends and family, or simply looking for a way to get your festive fix after taking the kids trunk-or-treating, bring the laughs with these Halloween ideas for adults.
Like the classic game from your childhood, but high-stakes. Each person picks a random person, place, thing, song, movie, or TV show — Halloween or otherwise — and then carves clues into their pumpkin while others make their best guesses. Give a time limit to really up the ante.
Design A Halloween Snack Board
Since you might not be able to do traditional Halloween activities like going to a haunted house or trick-or-treating with friends, you can channel more of your energy into creating a stunning spread of spooky snacks. Whether sweet or savory — or both — is your jam, snack boards are the most fun current trend to get in on, especially during the spooky season. Create a Halloween-themed charcuterie board with your favorite meats, cheeses, crackers, and more, or create a sugary candy board and pick at it during a movie as a treat.
Make A Spooky Cocktail
No Halloween is complete without a custom witch’s brew cocktail or mocktail. Freeze plastic spiders into your ice cubes and the fetch the dry ice — time to make some Halloween-themed drinks! Pour your Halloween cocktails into some classy personalized glassware and you’ll have an impressive on-theme drink to keep the costume party going.
Zoom Cider Tasting
Still looking for an adult Halloween activity? How about a hard cider party? It’s adult, it’s fun, and it’s an opportunity to taste and compare more hard ciders than most of us get to do. Deliver flights of cider to your friends’ doors and host an online cider tasting and cider quiz for the ultimate autumnal event.
Virtual Halloween Party Ideas
At this point in quarantine, we’re all pros at hosting virtual get-togethers. Pour a drink, put on a costume, and invite all your friends to a Halloween FaceTime or Zoom party. Invite loved ones, both near and far, grab some spooky snacks, and hop on the computer screen for some fun. Create categories for best costume prizes and see how creative your guests can be. Send out party invites and don’t forget to pick a spooky Halloween-themed Zoom background for everyone to download prior to the party.
Zoom Escape Room Session
Another of our social distancing Halloween ideas are online escape rooms. Great for older kids, you could have a go at a Halloween themed online escape room session. There are many available these days and it allows the tweens and teens to get together for Halloween fun.
Have A Scary Story Night
Like scary movies, it’s always a fun time to tell scary stories (some may be more age-appropriate than others). Either get a group together on Zoom to share or just gather the family up under a pillow fort and tell away. If scary stories are too spooky, kid-appropriate Halloween books are an alternative. Some books are scarier while others are just about Halloween fun. Either way, reading together makes for a great seasonal treat.
If you would prefer to stay in, but still want to participate in the fun, throw a virtual costume party via Zoom and set a few rules. Pick a theme and everyone’s costumes must fit the theme. What about saying no new store-bought costumes, attendees must find things to use around the house. Bedsheet ghost, anyone? Plan a virtual fashion show to show off your creations. Reminisce about past Halloweens and the fun, wacky costumes of your childhood.
Hold A Mask Costume Contest
There is perhaps no more “2020” Halloween activity than decorating a face mask. Whether you’re doing it for yourself or with your kids, make your mask match your costume or have it be a costume in itself. Some ideas include animal faces, creepy grins, or a pumpkin pattern, but feel free to get creative. Ask friends to design their own face mask, then gather over Zoom to see who’s come up with the most inventive one.
Parade Those Pets
Halloween is one of the best days of the year, so why not get your pet in on the fun? If your pup loves dressing up in t-shirts and sweaters in its day-to-day life, then it’ll absolutely adore wearing a costume for a virtual Halloween party.
Even if you aren’t celebrating Halloween the way you would normally, the good news is that children are flexible—and forgiving. This year won’t look like others, but what matters most it’s still a time to connect and make many memories.